In many modern cultures, the hourglass-shaped woman is help up as the epitome of attractiveness.

In my story, there are sixteen species of the Homo genus (humans) that can all interbreed: anatomically modern humans, merfolk, angels, demons, ogres, giants, halflings, dwarfs, elves, therianthropes, vampires, gnomes, goblins, orcs, trolls, and wizards.

Some species have an unusual sexual dimorphism for mammals (specially primates): females tend to be more massive. This is the case for ogres, giants, merfolk, demons, angels, wizards, therianthropes, and vampires. The other half of the living species of the Homo genus (trolls, orcs, goblins, gnomes, halflings, elves, dwarfs, and naturally, anatomically modern humans) have larger males.

To be exact, ogres tend to be sexually attracted to fat apple-shaped women, merfolk tend to be attracted to fat diamond-shaped women, giants tend to be attracted to fat pear-shaped women, and both demons and therianthropes tend to be attracted to fat banana-shaped women. The three other species with larger females, vampires, wizards, and angels, respectively, tend to be attracted to fat strawberry-shaped women, fat hourglass-shaped women, and fat spoon-shaped women.

If you want to know, adult ogres are on average as heavy as adult male gorillas, and as tall as the average NBA player, adult giants are on average as massive as adult polar bears, adult therianthropes are on average as tall as adult orangutans and as heavy as adult chimpanzees, demons are eusocial and, weighing on average a metric ton, the queen is always the largest individual in a given colony, and adult merfolk are on average as massive as adult belugas.

So, I wonder why would women with a huge belly be considered sexy (or hot, if you want) for most ogres, merfolk, giants, therianthropes, and demons?

Note: members of my various species can be of any morality and ethic (there are good orcs, there are evil halflings, there are chaotic elves, and there are lawful therianthropes) (if you do not understand, I hate stereotypes and clichés) (also, my story is a satire against racism).

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    $\begingroup$ Venus of Willendorf. Venus of Hohle Fels. Venus of Dolní Věstonice. Venus figurines of Gagarino. Lots more stone age porn. Closer to our days, look at Rubens's women; from his name we have the word Rubenesque. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 17, 2021 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ In real life, anatomically modern humans tend to be attracted to hourglass-shaped women, with many exceptions. Your entire question hinges on a misapprehension. It should be In many modern cultures, the hourglass-shaped woman is held up as the epitome of attractiveness. Many historical, pre-historical, and yes, even modern, cultures have different standards of beauty. $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2021 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ To add on to what you say Michael, There is a fairly large push against “hourglass” beauty standards in modern many cultures. $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Dec 18, 2021 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ "a sign of wealth" - this belongs on History.... Or just google more cushion for the pushin. You'll understand when you're older. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Dec 18, 2021 at 1:35
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    $\begingroup$ "In many modern cultures" more likely in a few modern cultures. Mainstream media keeps trying to sell that but any cursory search on porn sites will reveal the 21st century is way more diverse in taste. $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2021 at 13:30

5 Answers 5


Historical suggestion of: More / healthier babies.

Historically food was scarce and somewhat larger size is indicator of access to food and probably other resources. As such a women of that description (Ruebenesque) is more able/likely to produce more and healthier offspring. Of course at the extreme end it is more likely to be health issue and have associated health issues so thus less attractive.

Any society that has a noticeable scarcity of food will find somewhat larger women more attractive.

Modern situation: food is cheap and abundant. It is much easier to be huge. Focus on attractiveness has mostly moved away from huge.


Someone of power or fame has a huge belly and everyone else emulates it.

Think about how wigs got to be fashionable in Europe. Louis Xlll was prematurly bald and wore a wig, soon members of his court did also, then it spread all about.

note: the only cross-cultural common feature that humans find attractive is youth, everything else comes from emulation.

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    $\begingroup$ Youth is a proxy for fertility that people can recognize. Anything else is symbolic of health or success that suggests fertility or the ability to provide for children. Even emulating the successful falls under this category. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Dec 17, 2021 at 22:31
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    $\begingroup$ Sorta reminds me of the story that a Spanish king (Ferdinand?) who had a lisp and people started pronouncing their words with a lisp too, creating a new dialect within the language at large. I have no bearing on the veracity but it doesn't sound entirely unreasonable. $\endgroup$
    – Xoque55
    Dec 18, 2021 at 0:34

Pregnancy Or Zaftig:

A large belly can be beautiful!

  • A belly that is large can mimic the appearance of pregnancy, a signal that the female is fertile! While for an animal, not getting the female pregnant immediately discourages mating, with more long-sighted humans, especially those with fertility issues (like elves are sometimes suggested to be), a pregnant-appearing female says, "there will be a child or children soon and into the future!"
  • A little fat can, especially in less civilized cultures, be a sign that a female has access to abundant food. This overt symbol of wealth and success indicates the female will be able to successfully bear and raise any children you might have with her. What's sexier than that?

It has always been a rounded shape ideal

Your question is astonishing. I would put it in reverse: why would ogres have to comply to modern fashion madness ? They all predate that ! Your merfolk, goblins and dwarfs have a beauty ideal that existed at the time they were invented and first depicted. Many of your 16 ogres are based on Earth cultural archetypes of the 14th-19th century. A round shaped beauty ideal for females was always the default ! It ended somewhere during the first decades of the 20th century. The modern, skinny ideal is the deviation. It has everything to do with modern fashion commerce and.. gender things !

Modern fashion commerce

Basically a one-size-fits-all person is required, to show modern fashion. A model is supposed to be skinny, because that is cheaper, the clothing will require less material. She is also supposed to be very quick in redressing and be tolerant for size. Wide clothing looks good on a person, narrow clothing is far more difficult to present without issues, like folds and bulging. The industry prefers standard sizes: a small assortiment, ignoring the demands of fat people is cheaper. For that reason, the industry imposes a standardized beauty ideal, and awaits compliance by ever customer. The biggest market is now skinny, this ideal has been there for a century and it gets imposed on the rest of the world, also in China. Even when local tradition still exists, like on the island of Maui, their contestants for Miss Universe are lean and mean "standard" models..

Gender things

A French professional model is called a "mannequin". This translates to "manneke", or "little man". Actually, the modern - white - female beauty ideal for models has a lot of male aspects: short haircut, a narrow or moderately narrow behind, long posture, long legs, breasts are not too prominent.. the resulting "tom boy" could also indicate a shift in preference, toward some unisex average. In the modern world, a homosexual preference is no issue anymore. Many male people in the fashion industry are openly gay, which may also influence their choice of female models.



The science of human pheromones is very tentative and controversial. But for worldbuilding purposes, using fictional human relatives, we can slice through several Gordian knots and simply assert a set of hypotheses.

  • Sexual attraction is caused by the reception and sensation of pheromone(s). Although a protein involved is considered a pseudogene - a transcribed pseudogene mind you - it simply has a second class of SECIS sequence that has not yet been identified, active perhaps only under certain conditions, which converts the "nonsense" UGA into an amino acid.

  • Pheromones trigger sexual responses. The vomeronasal organ may not always be well defined, but the course of GnRH-secreting neurons through the terminal nerve to the hypothalamus remains intact. GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) stimulates LH, FSH, and androgen production (androgens are converted to estrogens in females).

  • At least some pheromones condition (train) sexual behavior. Though others might be mere aphrodisiacs, the interesting ones create a sort of Pavlovian response. The expression of the gene for a male or female pheromone specific odorant receptor determines sexual orientation. The cumulative effect of many such conditioning episodes causes attraction to average features, since those are most often present in association with the pheromone. Note that this implies that any social stereotype can become amplified - if on average women wear anything from eye shadow or lip plugs, someone receptive to only female pheromones will come to find that attractive.

Now, putting these things together we can invent the curious sin of pheroconversion. Scenario: a heterosexual male subject is exposed to a series of women (or perhaps men) who have the paunchy appearance you describe. These experimental conspirators surreptitiously release estratetraenol (an odorless compound currently sold on perhaps dubious internet sites) at measured intervals or strategic moments during conversation [this presumes the pheromone receptors are phasic]. Hypothetically, the subject responds by developing a sexual attraction to the general attributes of the experimental crew, and thereby, develops the characteristic responses you seek.

It seems like a quite simple experiment to do, apart from getting it past an institutional review board. Now it would be more respectable, and more generally useful, to attempt instead to stimulate the terminal nerves of pedophiles with an adherent electrical device in an attempt to condition receptivity to normal adult features. But the resulting novel would have fewer conflicts and ethical conundrums...


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